VCI European Ladies Golf Cup
La Sella Golf Resort, Spain 3-6 April 2008
Saturday 5th April 2008
Third round leader quotes

Team England (Trish Johnson and Rebecca Hudson)
Trish, team England seems to be getting better and better.

Trish Johnson: Yes. We had a fabulous day today. I have to say Rebecca played superbly from tee to green and once she holed the first putt she made them all. Me and Neil said when she makes the first putt she will hole them all and she certainly did.
She birdied the last two holes which was fantastic. She was absolutely brilliant today.

The first hole was terrific for you Rebecca. A lovely second shot and then you finished spectacularly as well.
Rebecca Hudson: Hole 17 was definitely a nice birdie. It’s playing very long. It was 180 yards into the wind so that was a very satisfying birdie. I had another birdie on 18.

I think 11, 12 and 13 were key holes. Trish came off very strongly after she went into the trees. Trish Johnson: I’ve had a lot of practise at that over the years so it’s probably an easier shot for me than it is for most people. It was one of my better birdies. I think the thing that has happened this week is we’ve kept momentum going. Rebecca has holed so many clutch putts when I was out of the hole. If you lose your momentum when you’re making birdies it’s really difficult to get going again and we haven’t done that at all. It’s been perfect.

You’ll be playing with the Belgians for the third day. Does that matter at all?
Rebecca Hudson: No, they are great to play with and we are all having good fun. It’s just nice to be out there.

They certainly pushed you along didn’t they, for the first ten holes in particular?
Trish Johnson: Yes they did. They are playing great. Both of them are striking the ball lovely and they’ve putted extremely well which I think they would probably admit. They’ve holed some major clutch putts but they are both playing fabulously well. We are not stupid enough to think this is done and dusted because it isn’t by a long shot.

You’ve both opened up a bit of daylight which must be healthy.
Rebecca Hudson: Yes it is but I think the format tomorrow will make us think about it. We’ll have to concentrate and go about our game plan. Just play the same golf we’ve been playing all week.

You talked about team work at the start of the week and you’ve never lined up so many putts for one another I imagine.
Rebecca Hudson: It’s good. It just gives someone a bit of confidence. There’s never been a bad line. It gives you that confidence to hit a nice putt. Especially with today’s format, if you know someone’s there you can put a positive stroke on it rather than thinking, “I don’t want to leave myself a putt coming back”, which is a nice thing about this format.

Team Belgium (Ellen Smets and Lara Tadiotto)
You played well today but obviously there is a bit of distance now between you and England. How are you feeling going into the final day?

Lara Tadiotto: We are feeling good. We didn’t hole as many putts as Rebecca. She must have had 18 putts today, I don’t know. She saw the hole like a bucket. It’s a different format tomorrow so you don’t know. Maybe we have a chance. We will try our best.
Ellen Smets: I feel the same. At the beginning R was struggling a bit and then she holed one and she went off. She kept on going. She is hitting it firm.
Lara Tadiotto: It was nice to watch actually but it was no good for us.
Are you looking forward to playing in the final group?
Lara Tadiotto: For sure. I love to play with Trish. She is such a nice competitor. She hit some wonderful shots and she is controlling the ball fantastically.
Ellen Smets:: Rebecca is also a nice girl to play with. Both of them
Lara Tadiotto: We are having fun actually. It’s quite a sportive thing.
Ellen Smets: It’s it really interesting and we are just looking forward to it tomorrow.

Team Spain (Paula Marti and Tania Elosegui)
Paula, would it be fair to say that it wasn’t your day today?

Paula Marti: Not really. As you saw maybe on the last one all of my putts were hitting the hole but none of them went in so that’s golf. Sometimes it goes in and sometimes it doesn’t. Today wasn’t my day but I had Tania on my side. She made a couple of birdies coming in and that really helped us move up the leader board. That gives us a lot of energy for tomorrow.

Tania, I suppose the secret is not to get too frustrated with your game and just to play naturally is it?
Tania Elosegui: Yes. I was struggling on the first nine holes and then I started to play naturally and straight.

You were aware that you had a large gallery following you?
Paula Marti: It is great to have people following you. It’s nice to have fans in Spain so I want to thank them.

What do you think about England’s play?
Paula Marti: Well I think they are playing on another course without wind because their scores are unbelievable.
Tania Elosegui: Well this wind is nothing for them.
Paula Marti: I know. They are used to it. I think this course, it’s long and tight. The thing is the par fours are long and you don’t have any par fives that you can reach in two so you don’t have any recovery holes. We struggled a bit today but I think we will get back.

Team Russia (Maria Kostina and Anastasia Kostina)
Anastasia well played. You are fourth on the leader board. You have taken everybody by surprise.

Anastasia Kostina: Thank you very much. We played pretty well today. There were a little harder conditions and we did well.

Maria you are the elder sister. Does that mean you are the captain of the team?
Maria Kostina: Well I take care of her and she is trying to take care of me.
Anastasia Kostina: She is the captain and I’m the co-captain.

Have you surprised yourselves with ho well you’ve played here?
Anastasia Kostina: We didn’t know what to expect because we’ve never played a European Tour event. We’ve never played in Europe as professionals and never played this kind of tournament. The format is very different from any other tournament.

We came here with an open mind and to do as well as we can do.
Maria Kostina: I don’t think it’s surprising for us but we sure are enjoying it.
Anastasia Kostina: I think it’s more surprising for people in Europe as they’ve never seen us. This is our second year as professionals.

What made you come here?
Maria Kostina: I really wanted to play with my sister for our country. There is only one opportunity to do something like that and no matter how we do I’m going to treasure every moment of it out there. I mean it is just so special I will remember it for the rest of my life, regardless of how we do.
Anastasia Kostina: The organisers did a really good job. That’s how we found out about it. The organisers contacted us and they have made it really easy for us to come even though we only found out about the tournament three weeks in advance.

This must seem wonderful compared with the days when you started as little girls. Can you explain how you got into this?
Anastasia Kostina: We started when I was nine and Maria was 11 during the free junior academy at the only 18 hole golf course in Moscow, in Russia. When we were little I didn’t take it seriously because I was only nine years old. I have followed Maria. It’s just fun to have everyone following you and play this awesome golf course.

You’re based in the United States and you don’t sound very Russian of course.
Maria Kostina: The Americans still think we have a Russian accent.
Anastasia Kostina: We are still Russian.
Maria Kostina: It’s just something you learn. We went to college there.
Anastasia Kostina: I would say America is our second home. We will always have special memories of the US for sure.